Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In the middle of her pain

She was so young when her mother died.  She was like any other five year old with a hurting heart, she was full of pain, tears and questions.  But now there was one bigger problem that she was faced with.  In a matter of moments she had to grow up, she became a double orphan at the small age of five.

I barely remember when I was five years old.  What could it possibly feel like to lose your security, your caregiver at such a young, tender stage?  How would that lonliness hit your soul?  

My mind drifts back to that long hallway from my Kindergarten school days.  I cried as I watched my mum walk away down the long cold hallway after she dropped me off in my new blue plaid dress and velveteen extra-wide buckled shoes.

I felt so alone at the age of five.  I'm sure it was the beginning of my seperation anxiety I struggled with for years.

Others saw me cry and called me a baby.  That day I didn't care, I wanted to bolt after my only known source of love and stay tied to her apron strings forever.  I was known as a "momma's girl."  I remember that feeling of abandonment, the feeling of being the only one who couldn't handle a half day of seperation from my momma, that feeling of emptiness and loss.  

Abandonment is such a harsh word.  I would guess when you watch your mother die, that feeling of being alone in a great big world would be the same only million times worse.

My response to that kind of deep emotional pain would not have been like Tilly's.  I would not in all of God's green earth feel like praising God.  

Tilly told me of her journey of rescue.  Becoming a double orphan at the age of five she had no one to turn to for refuge.  I can't wrap my mind around that process of what to think or how to respond for her.  But yet in her story she shared how she was found.  She gave thanks for someone reaching out to her and taking her in.  Safety in an small home for orphans became her refuge.  God's infinite love became her bouy in endless ocean of mixed emotions.

She was not forgotten or abandoned now.  She was introduced to her Savior and the Heart of Jesus became her new place to live.  Let that truth settle in for a moment.  An African child, a young girl at five, just lost all of her entire world as she knew it.  And then a missionary introduced her to Jesus.

My heart melts at the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and the power of salvation.  But when I think about how God had that moment of loss all planned out for Tilly including a refuge answer in place before the loss was on her horizon, well honestly my heart rips.  Knowing there was going to be pain, loss, tears but planning for her rescue for "the purpose of his heart through all generations."  (Psalm 33:11 

This is just one of the heart moving stories that I have been a part of here in Africa.  With the work of Children's Cup, God has opened a whole new future for her to see God's purposes unfold for her life.  So thankful for God and His plans for us and for our refuge.  

In the middle of her pain, reeling from the loss of the one who gave her life, God brought her new life at five years old, and coupled that with an important life skill, He taught her to praise.  I have not seen the likes of a 5-year-old double orphaned past like this.   Again, what kind of child is this?

Pain, loss and heartache, abandonment can spur a lot of emotional reactions, but I have not known the kind of true joy from such a painful experience by such a young joyful heart.  Her joy-filled smile had to be God given to comprehend the magnitude of her praise.  Her praise was deeply rooted in her trust and faith.  Remarkable.

As she told her story tears of all kinds of emotions flowed from my heart.  And I have been pondering all of them for days.  God is healing my haunting Kindergarten experience of loss, yes... I felt Tilly's pain that deeply.

Maybe this will help you too.  From the midst of her pain, she later wrote these words in response to her Refuge:
 
     "Lord, oh God,
     You are the King of Kings
     You are everything, my life...
     I'm gonna praise you Lord,
     I'm gonna praise you Lord,
     I'm gonna praise you Lord,
     for the rest of my life."

One that praises in the middle of her storm.  

I had the honor of hearing her sweet angelic voice as she stood outside her home for the Forgotten.     You see, when she lost her mother, she lost her hope.  She would never be a part of a family, but God rescued her through the work of Children's Cup to bring her into the family of God and her test at such a young tender seedling has now become the hope in which she stands on and shares with others who are forgotten and alone.

Her testimoney spoke deeply to my heart to heal my heart.  So thankful for the plans of the Lord and His awesome rescues that He gives us on a daily basis.  So thankful that we have a place in our Father's heart for an eternity.  So thankful for the rescue for the workers in the great harvest of souls through Children's Cup.  So thankful that it moves my heart to praise.

"I'm gonna praise you Lord...for the rest of my life."  
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